Nigeria’s Electoral Chief Quits

JUNE 30 – The five-year tenure of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, ends this Monday.

Jega, a professor of political science, was appointed INEC chief in June 2010 by then President Goodluck Jonathan. He succeeded Maurice Iwu, a professor of pharmacy. Iwu had succeeded Dr Abel Guobadia (now late) who succeeded Justice Ephraim Akpata (also late).

Of the four since the birth of the Fourth Republic in 1999, only Jega conducted two general elections.

There were speculations that he would be removed before this year’s polls because he was not disposed to helping the ruling PDP rig the presidential election in its favour. His tenure marked the introduction of card readers in Nigeria’s electoral process. It is believed that the card readers, which though malfunctioned in several places prompting INEC to authorise reversion to manual registration midway, minimised rigging and led to the victory of the APC at the polls.

Jega has indicated that he would not seek or accept a renewal of his tenure.

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